Developer Diary 12 – Military

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King

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Victoria 2 is not a game that focuses on warfare, however that is not to say that warfare should be neglected. The Victorian period did see a number of small skirmishes, like some sort of very civil dispute in America and a couple of small scale battles in France. So although we may not be willing to devote as much time to the military as we are to things like politics and economics, it still does get a bit of a make over.

Our first big change is to directly link a unit and a soldier POP. You no longer recruit troops from manpower; you recruit troops from a specific province, and thus a specific soldier POP. This gives us a very neat consequence, if your soldier POP gets unhappy we know exactly which unit will get upset.

At a base level we have selected the 3,000 man brigade as the base unit. However, unlike Hearts of Iron 3, you can group these together in stacks of any size for manoeuvre purposes. Our aim is to get the right blend of flexibility vs. micromanagement.

The core combat system is a combination of Rome, EU3 and HoI3. So we have frontages, artillery units sit in the rear rank, firing over the enemy. We have attack frontages that widen as you advance in technology while your units improve in ability. We are aiming for two effects here, first a smaller modern army will actually be more effective in combat than a larger backward one. Secondly we want to see the evolution of military. In the American civil war, armies marched around and fought epic engagements, essentially unchanged since time immemorial. By World War I you had continuous front lines. As your technology advances the amount of troops you need to fight effectively in a province drops, leading to a much more frontal style of warfare.

There is still the question of Cavalry. The Victorian period opens with Cavalry still being the supreme shock weapon; just witness the amazing success of the Charge of the Light Brigade. However, cavalry is already becoming obsolete in a battlefield role, in the American civil war we see cavalry as scouting units and raiding instead of being used in set piece battles. By the end of the period cavalry is completely obsolete.

What we have done is add a new combat variable, reconnaissance. Reconnaissance does two things; a high reconnaissance value increases the speed at which you capture provinces. Secondly if you enter combat not dug in, then your relative reconnaissance value assists you in combat. Essentially, the more you know about the enemy before you attack the more likely your commander is to be able to attack in the right place. High recon will benefit you, and penalise the opposition. However, with each successive round of combat the effect starts to diminish (nothing quite like shooting at people to give yourself away to the enemy). Cavalry units have very high recon values, so an army with cavalry fighting an army without will have a decided advantage in combat.

Now I know what you are thinking, the Battle of the Somme did not open with British cavalry probing the German trenches to get reconnaissance for Haig, and we have thought of that too. The Aeroplane is much better than the horse for reconnaissance. Thus, your late game army all but dispenses with cavalry and instead you have aeroplanes as your scouting units.
 

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RedRalphWiggum

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Wow! This is a far bigger overhaul to the military than I had expected! I thought it was going to be almost unchanged form the original.
Our first big change is to directly link a unit and a soldier POP. You no longer recruit troops from manpower; you recruit troops from a specific province, and thus a specific soldier POP. This gives us a very neat consequence, if your soldier POP gets unhappy we know exactly which unit will get upset.

So if I understand right, you will have to be a lot more selective about who you recruit, because of revolting soldier units, and will have to be a lot more careful to keep military POPS happy? No more forcing swathes of recently-conquered resentful natives into service?
At a base level we have selected the 3,000 man brigade as the base unit. However, unlike Hearts of Iron 3, you can group these together in stacks of any size for manoeuvre purposes. Our aim is to get the right blend of flexibility vs. micromanagement.

Cool. So is there still unit attachements, as in V1?

The core combat system is a combination of Rome, EU3 and HoI3. So we have frontages, artillery units sit in the rear rank, firing over the enemy. We have attack frontages that widen as you advance in technology while your units improve in ability. We are aiming for two effects here, first a smaller modern army will actually be more effective in combat than a larger backward one. Secondly we want to see the evolution of military. In the American civil war, armies marched around and fought epic engagements, essentially unchanged since time immemorial. By World War I you had continuous front lines. As your technology advances the amount of troops you need to fight effectively in a province drops, leading to a much more frontal style of warfare.

Great. It'll be interesting to have to completely change tactics, composition etc of armies during the course of the game.
What we have done is add a new combat variable, reconnaissance. Reconnaissance does two things; a high reconnaissance value increases the speed at which you capture provinces. Secondly if you enter combat not dug in, then your relative reconnaissance value assists you in combat. Essentially, the more you know about the enemy before you attack the more likely your commander is to be able to attack in the right place. High recon will benefit you, and penalise the opposition. However, with each successive round of combat the effect starts to diminish (nothing quite like shooting at people to give yourself away to the enemy). Cavalry units have very high recon values, so an army with cavalry fighting an army without will have a decided advantage in combat.

Will reconnaissance be in any way tied to provence infrastructure (telegraphs, etc), or just to technology?

Now I know what you are thinking, the Battle of the Somme did not open with British cavalry probing the German trenches to get reconnaissance for Haig, and we have thought of that too. The Aeroplane is much better than the horse for reconnaissance. Thus, your late game army all but dispenses with cavalry and instead you have aeroplanes as your scouting units.

Seperate units?
 

Nikolai

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Aeroplanes gets a role, that's nice. Are aeroplanes a recruitable unit like cavalry, or are they an attachment, like in V1?
 

martin23230

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Interesting, great info!
A question; what does Kutaisi written under Tbilisi mean? I know it is another town in Georgia, does that mean every province has a capital city and a smaller regional city?
Another comment, in the cores section the Russian flag seems to be not centred, i.e. the white stripe is smaller than the black stripe. Also; no Georgian national cores, or are revolters not done yet?
 

King

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Wow! This is a far bigger overhaul to the military than I had expected! I thought it was going to be almost unchanged form the original.


So if I understand right, you will have to be a lot more selective about who you recruit, because of revolting soldier units, and will have to be a lot more careful to keep military POPS happy? No more forcing swathes of recently-conquered resentful natives into service?

There is the risk, our goal is that you can no longer ues soldiers fromt he provicne with the unhappy soldiers to supress the revolting unhappy soldiers

Cool. So is there still unit attachements, as in V1?

No

Great. It'll be interesting to have to completely change tactics, composition etc of armies during the course of the game.

Not enitrely, but late game units are better, so perhaps in your colonies you keep your old style armies for longer, but when you are up against an equal you are going to need the best.

Will reconnaissance be in any way tied to provence infrastructure (telegraphs, etc), or just to technology?

No, it is your recon ability vs theirs. So if they have more air units than you, then you will be attacking blind.

Seperate units?

yes, but for game purposes a land unit. You do not have long range air power, or an independent tactical airforce. You had a flying corps which supports the land army, through recon and if you are lucky manged to drop a bomb that wounds a tactically important enemy horse.
 

King

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Aeroplanes gets a role, that's nice. Are aeroplanes a recruitable unit like cavalry, or are they an attachment, like in V1?

no, seperate unit. An air unit is a 3,000 man brigade which includes all the personel to keep the damn things flying.
 

King

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Interesting, great info!
A question; what does Kutaisi written under Tbilisi mean? I know it is another town in Georgia, does that mean every province has a capital city and a smaller regional city?
Another comment, in the cores section the Russian flag seems to be not centred, i.e. the white stripe is smaller than the black stripe. Also; no Georgian national cores, or are revolters not done yet?

Tiblisi is the name of the state, there is a Tibilisi province inside Tibilisi state as well.
 

Lloyien

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It sounds like attachments are out. The division+attachment of Vicky I would be 3 infantry/cavalry/dragoon brigades + artillery/regular/etc.

What's interesting about this is that we'll now have to really pay attention to the cost, because I'm pretty sure we all know we want to have divisions consisting entirely of regulars, or regulars/artillery (Or divisions consisting of guards, if you like BURNING MONEY, but, y'know).

Edit: King was apparently on it while I was looking up the guard attachment's name. Bah.
 

King

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It sounds like attachments are out. The division+attachment of Vicky I would be 3 infantry/cavalry/dragoon brigades + artillery/regular/etc.

What's interesting about this is that we'll now have to really pay attention to the cost, because I'm pretty sure we all know we want to have divisions consisting entirely of regulars, or regulars/artillery (Or divisions consisting of guards, if you like BURNING MONEY, but, y'know).

Soldier POPs cost money, brigades cost goods.
 

Autonomous

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So... what happens if part of your soldier POP migrates away somewhere. Do your brigades start evaporating?
 

Garius

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Will there be the possibility of aerial battles???
 

Pjoo

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Shouldn't attack frontages shorten as you advance in technology? Better technology means you need less people to cover certain lenght of frontage. Or atleast reduce the frontage of the enemy.
 

Zelvik

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Sounds good.

So as I understand it planes will be brigade sized support units?
 

Snall

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The Charge of the Light Brigade makes me sad...also looks good, I like the POP connection, it should make your people dying on the field a little harder to stomach too.
 

King

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So... what happens if part of your soldier POP migrates away somewhere. Do your brigades start evaporating?

yes, if you don't keep your soldiers happy, that's your problem.
 

King

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Shouldn't attack frontages shorten as you advance in technology? Better technology means you need less people to cover certain lenght of frontage. Or atleast reduce the frontage of the enemy.

No the total front line is fixed, if the attack frotnage widens then fewer units can fit in the fixed front line.